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What More Can We Do for Mental Health?

Posted Wednesday 18 April 2018 10:41 by in Weight loss by Tim Deakin

Research shows that there is still a long way to go when it comes to mental health awareness and support...

A recent survey by ADP UK has found that UK employers are showing a lack of interest in their employees’ mental wellbeing despite the fact that many employees are suffering from significant mental health concerns.

The study, which assessed 1,300 workers, revealed that almost a third of British workers (31%) feel that their employer has little to no interest in their mental health. Despite this, a fifth (20%) of employees feel stressed out on a daily basis, and a third (33%) are even considering seeking new employment because the pressure is so bad.

Managing Director of ADP UK, Jeff Phipps, says:

“A certain level of stress is natural, even healthy, in the workplace, but it’s important that it doesn’t get out of hand. Employees who endure consistently high levels of stress are in danger of suffering from anxiety and even burnout. This can lead to more serious mental health issues.”

It seems mental health is worst among younger employees, as 22% of workers under 35 say they experience stress every day. 42% say it’s so bad they are considering a different job.

In a separate survey exploring mental health, one in six UK adults said they had experienced some kind of neurotic health problem in the last seven days, with anxiety and depression being the most common disorders. What’s more, a recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey reveals that there are around 3 million people in the UK living with anxiety, and a further 3 million living with depression.

Not only are these concerns common, they are also serious. A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) compared the effects of depression to those of physical conditions like arthritis, asthma, angina and diabetes. They concluded that the effect of depression on a person’s ability to function was up to 50% more serious than those of all four physical conditions combined.

What more can we do?

Understanding mental health conditions is the first step to dealing with them effectively. ADP UK suggest that employers take the time to research the symptoms and signs of conditions like anxiety and depression in order to put the necessary initiatives in place. Jeff Phipps states that this can be both a moral course of action and a smart business investment.

“Stress and mental health issues are one of the main causes of employee absence and staff turnover, which means supporting employees isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a worthwhile investment […]

“Employee assistance programmes and occupational health services are also imperative in creating a safe location where employees can go in confidence If they’re facing an issue.”

Mental health can have physical consequences

Mental health conditions like anxiety and depression can be difficult to spot because, often, the effects cannot be seen. However, both depression and anxiety can lead to physical symptoms.

Mental health disorders like depression often result in sufferers feeling constantly tired, as sleep quality can become poor. This may lead sufferers to take comfort in unhealthy habits like overeating, smoking and a lack of physical exercise. Sometimes anxiety and depression also lead to low sex drive and, in men, conditions like erectile dysfunction become more common. This can lead to a vicious cycle in which the mental symptoms worsen due to growing concern over physical symptoms.

For healthcare information, treatment and support about a range of health conditions, including smoking, weight gain and erectile dysfunction, contact Express Pharmacy today. Call our team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.

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Your Guide to Beating Allergies This Spring

Posted Thursday 05 April 2018 13:08 by in Hay Fever and Allergy Relief by Tim Deakin

While most of us look forward to the longer days and (slightly warmer) conditions in spring, there are some that approach the season with trepidation. Allergy sufferers.

Hay fever affects up to 30% of all UK adults, and as we enter the prime time of year for pollen allergies, many people will see their symptoms begin to worsen.

The warmer weather of spring leads to an increased pollen count. Here are just some of the symptoms which can occur:

  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Frequent coughing and sneezing
  • Headaches and earaches
  • Tiredness
  • Itchiness in the throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • Reduced sense of smell

But for those of you suffering with hay fever, fear not. We’re here to show you what you can do to reduce your symptoms and make the most of the new season.

What you should (and shouldn’t) do to beat hay fever this spring

If you worry that your hay fever symptoms are going to flare up this spring and summer, here are a few simple lifestyle changes you can make to give yourself the best chance of fighting off your allergies. We’ve also listed some of the things you should not do, as these can end up making your hay fever symptoms worse.

What you should do to avoid hay fever:

  • Reduce the amount of time you spend outdoors
  • Keep the windows and doors closed as much as possible to prevent pollen from entering your house
  • Vacuum regularly and dust with a damp cloth, as this will remove any pollen from the home
  • Consider buying a HEPA filter vacuum which is specifically designed for allergy sufferers, and a pollen filter for your car
  • When you do go outside, wear wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in your eyes
  • Also, put Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • When you re-enter the home, shower and change your clothes

What you should not do:

  • Keep fresh flowers in the home as they will bring pollen
  • Spend too much time outdoors. The longer you are outdoors, the greater your risk of symptoms occurring
  • Cut the grass or walk on grass
  • Dry your clothes outside, as they could catch pollen
  • Let pets into the home when they have been outside
  • Smoke, or be around others who smoke. Cigarette smoke can make your symptoms worse

Consider allergy relief medication

Hay fever can be a debilitating and frustrating condition when all you want to do is enjoy the warmer spring weather. Many people who suffer with allergies take medication to reduce their symptoms, particularly those who don’t want the pollen in the air to stop them from getting out and about. Telfast is a branded antihistamine while Fexofenadine is its unbranded equivalent. Both are effective and fast-acting medications for allergy relief, and are available from Express Pharmacy, but don’t just take our word for it! Here’s what some of our customers had to say…

On Telfast:

“I used these many years ago and the product still does what I want it to do. I’m very happy with that.”

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“This product is excellent.”

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On Fexofenadine:

“Better than any over the counter products.”

*****

“The product I ordered is very good, I have been using it for quite some time. I don’t know of any other pharmacy where I can buy it.”

*****

If you’re worried about your hay fever this spring, let Express Pharmacy help. Click here to find out more about the effective medications we offer. If you have any queries, don’t hesitate to call our friendly team on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet online Live Chat service.

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Where Are You Most Likely to Fall Victim to Traveller’s Diarrhoea?

Posted Tuesday 27 March 2018 15:33 by in Travellers Diarrhoea by Tim Deakin

As one of the most common conditions to befall travellers, it’s important to know where you should take the most care to avoid traveller’s diarrhoea

As spring gets underway and we start looking forward to summer, many of us will be taking the time to seek out the perfect summer getaway. What with booking hotels, flights and activities, you probably won’t spend too much time considering health factors like traveller’s diarrhoea — but these are the factors which can seriously impact on your impending trip.

Traveller’s diarrhoea is one of the most common infections seen in holidaymakers and can put a real dampener on your summer trip abroad. Knowing how to spot the signs of the condition and treat it effectively is hugely important, but it’s also important to take it into consideration from the point of choosing a destination.

Where are you most likely to contract traveller’s diarrhoea?

Although the extent and severity of traveller’s diarrhoea is largely dependent on the season of travel and your own actions when abroad, heading to certain destinations can make you far more likely to develop the condition.

Low risk destinations include the USA, Canada and New Zealand, as well as most countries in Northern and Western Europe. These countries usually practice high food hygiene standards, which can significantly limit the risk of spreading the infection.

Intermediate-risk destinations include many Eastern European countries, certain Caribbean islands and South Africa. High-risk areas for contracting traveller’s diarrhoea include countries in:

- South and South East Asia

- Africa

- The Middle East

- Mexico

- Central and South America

In India, common cases of traveller’s diarrhoea are informally referred to as ‘Delhi Belly’.

How is the condition contracted?

Traveller’s diarrhoea is most commonly contracted through the consumption of faecally contaminated food and water, usually as the result of an infected person handling food after using the toilet without thoroughly washing their hands.

These actions encourage the spread of bacteria like E.Coli and Salmonella, which are common causes of the condition. These can also be spread through the use of contaminated cups and plates. Traveller’s diarrhoea is also more common in younger travellers.

What are the warning signs of traveller’s diarrhoea?

Whether you travel to an intermediate or high-risk area, you need to know the warning signs to look out for. The nature of the condition means that the initial symptoms are usually quite sudden, so it’s important to pay attention to your bathroom habits while you are away.

The condition is defined by the passing of three or more loose/watery bowel movements within a 24-hour period. It usually occurs within the first week of travel, so be extra vigilant during this time, but remember that it is possible to contract the infection more than once in a single holiday.

Other symptoms to watch out for include bloating, vomiting, fever and abdominal cramps.

How can you avoid it?

To prevent an onset of traveller’s diarrhoea, try to avoid food and drink items such as undercooked or raw meat, raw fruit and vegetables, unpasteurised milk and tap water. In the UK we drink tap water without thinking, but in higher risk areas the water may be contaminated. It is best to either boil tap water before using, or to stick to sealed bottled water.

In case you do contract traveller’s diarrhoea while away, you should be prepared with effective antibiotic treatment to speed up your recovery. Azithromycin is the recommended, highly rated treatment for bacterial traveller’s diarrhoea, and it is available from Express Pharmacy.

For further information about our services, call our team today on 0208 123 07 03 or leave a query on our discreet Live Chat.

Comments

stella rostron on Saturday 28 July 2018 16:43

I am going to the Dominican republic and I am worried travellers diarrhoea will spoil my holiday, I have had it 3 or 4 times in the past while on hoilday. I am also worried that anti biotics may reduce my gut flora making the problem worse. I have asked my GP for stand by anti biotics and if she refuses I am considering buying them before I go . Am I being over anxious.

Reply
Tags: Azithromycin Travel Health Traveller's Diarrhoea

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Healthy Food Swaps to Support Weight Loss at Every Meal

Posted Friday 23 March 2018 16:48 by in Express Pharmacy by Tim Deakin

Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, there are simple changes you can make to achieve a healthier diet in time for summer

Now that we’re well into March, we’ve welcomed spring with open arms . . . even if spring hasn’t yet welcomed us! And looking ahead, the arrival of spring means that summer is just around the corner. We all want to feel fitter and healthier in time for summer, which is why many of us fall victim to fad diets for fast effects. But as numerous studies have shown, crash diets are typically unsustainable and fail to deliver long term results. In fact, many can cause more health problems than they do solutions.

So instead, start working towards a healthy weight loss goal now by implementing some of these simple food swaps into your daily routine. No matter what meal you’re sitting down to, there is a way to enjoy it just as much while still eating healthily.

Breakfast

Cereal and coffee are common breakfast go-tos for many of us. Yet all too many cereals are actually high in sugar and a milky coffee with sugar added can be surprisingly calorific. Choosing porridge is a great alternative to popular branded cereals. Porridge is incredibly filling but releases energy slowly, helping to avoid blood sugar spikes. Even with a drop of honey or maple syrup, porridge will still avoid the worst of the sugar that your regular cereals hide.

If you can, also consider making your morning brew a black coffee or tea. Dropping the milk may not seem like a big difference but you could be saving tens of calories each day.

Lunch

Because we tend to either go for sandwiches, bagels, muffins or pasta at lunchtime for a quick solution, we inevitably consume a lot of carbohydrates at this time of day. Although this gives us much needed energy, swapping out white bread and pasta for wholegrain alternatives will provide the same energy but with additional benefits. Wholegrains release energy more slowly and sustainably so that your body does not experience a rush of blood sugar; nor will it store as much of the energy as fat.

Dinner

For most of us, dinner is the largest and most calorie-packed meal of the day. But instead of punishing yourself with fad diets, making the effort to consume calories from healthier food sources can help you achieve your weight loss goals in the long term. Chicken is commonly used in evening meals, but swapping it for turkey can give you a source of zinc, iron, protein, potassium and Vitamin B6 that is lower in fat. You may also swap the frying pan for the grill when cooking meat to avoid the calories contained in cooking oil.

Alternatively, tofu is a great vegan option which is both low in fat and versatile, and broccoli is a good option for adding greenery to your dinner as it is rich in both protein and fibre. Try preparing it in a stir fry with fish for a delicious healthy meal.

If you frequently add white rice to your dishes, trade it in for a brown alternative or, better yet, quinoa. This is a great source of dietary fibre and Omega-3, which can benefit your heart health. If you’re more of a pasta eater, swap creamy sauces for spicier, tomato-based options (taking care to use fresh or low-sugar chopped tomatoes rather than packet sauces).

Drinks

If you regularly consume soft drinks like Coca Cola, train your body to prefer water by starting off with cordial and gradually reducing the amount you add. You should also avoid drinking excess amounts of alcohol in order to improve your health overall, including your liver, heart, weight and energy levels.

Dieting not having the desired effect. Consult the team at Express Pharmacy if you believe that weight loss medication may be your next course of action. Contact us on 0208 123 07 03 or try our discreet Live Chat service.

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7 Early Signs of Male Pattern Baldness

Posted Friday 16 March 2018 15:23 by in Hair Loss by Tim Deakin

With around 40% of men experiencing hair loss before the age of 35, here are the warning signs you need to look out for

Men are highly unlikely to go through their whole lives without experiencing some level of hair loss. By the age of 60, around 65% of men will have noticeable hair loss, and this number jumps to 80% by the age of 80.

But despite male pattern baldness being an extremely common condition, many men are still self conscious about it. Thankfully, there are effective treatments available (more on that below) but spotting the signs early will give you a greater chance of delaying, preventing and even reversing hair loss with the right treatment in place. With that in mind, here are 7 early warning signs of male pattern baldness to look out for.

You can see the difference in photos

When changes happen over the course of months or years, it can be difficult to see them. Comparing your current hair thickness to old photographs will give you a clearer idea of whether hair loss is becoming an issue.

You wake up to hairs on your pillow

A small amount of hair shedding is perfectly normal, but if your pillow is particularly hairy first thing in the morning it can be a sign that male pattern baldness is underway. The same is also true of finding hairs on your shirt shoulders, or on your desk at work.

You notice a change in your hairline

Male pattern baldness usually starts at the hairline, so this is likely to be where the first signs occur. You may notice your hairline forming an ‘M’ shape which overtime recedes further to a ‘U’ shape. Keep an eye on your reflection to see if you spot any changes.

You spot thinning hair on your crown

After the hairline, the crown is the most common area for male pattern baldness to develop. Hair loss will spread outwards from the top of your head, which can be trickier to spot so you may need a handheld mirror.

You find a lot of hair in your comb

If every time you comb your hair you pull away a significant clump of strays, this is a clear sign that hair loss is on the cards. This simple action could be making your hair loss worse by causing unnecessary friction, so be sure to comb gently and avoid tugging on tangles.

The texture of your hair has changed

If styling your hair has become more difficult and it feels different to run your fingers through it, there’s a good chance that it’s thinning. It may appear wispier with more flyaways.

Your family members are balding

Male pattern baldness is a genetic condition, so if you notice other male relatives going bald then you need to keep a close eye on your own head of hair. Finding out when exactly older relatives started to lose their hair can give you an idea of what kind of timescale to expect.

What can you do about it?

If you notice any of these early signs of male pattern baldness, it’s important that you seek treatment as soon as possible. Propecia and Finasteride (Propecia’s unbranded medical equivalent) are two safe treatment options available from Express Pharmacy, both of which have been proven in their effectiveness at treating male pattern baldness.

In both medications, 99% of men had visible results after two years of treatment — 66% experienced hair regrowth and a further 33% had no further hair loss. When using either of these medications, you should start to see results within three to six months.

Find further information and support for a variety of health concerns by contacting the Express Pharmacy team. You can call us on 0208 123 07 03 or use our discreet Live Chat service.

Tags: Finasteride Propecia Men's Health

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